[messaging] Mail UIs

Jeff Burdges burdges at gnunet.org
Fri Jan 8 06:46:09 PST 2016

On Thu, 2016-01-07 at 20:00 -0800, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:

> Can you make your security concerns about handling inbox messages
> more
> explicit?
> Is the concern that inboxes contain untrusted content that could
> somehow
> compromise the MUA?  or that since the inbox messages are more recent
> (i've got stuff in my inbox that's a year old, ha ha) so therefore
> actions taken in response to them necessarily give lower-latency
> feedback to a network observer?  Or some other security concern?

Nothing so advanced or concrete really.  It's more that:

First, some messages should automatically be deleted after a limited
period of time.  And some should be retained.  This seems like a
complex thing to explain to the user.  And something that's likely to
bite them.  Pond colors the message differently, but that's harder to
do if there is a lot of data.  So maybe presenting the single system as
two or more applications makes this easier. 

Second, user interface people might be handicapped by fears of messing
with the way that privacy defaults were expressed to the user, so
giving them a mostly compatible code base in which to go wild might
simplify development. 

I subjectively experience using my MUA rather differently when I'm
doing searches as opposed to just reading incoming mail, so this didn't
seem *completely* off the wall.  At the same time, current MUAs are
extremely well optimized to do both these jobs, so it's kinda hard to
imagine anything different. 


p.s.  Just an example where something similar does work.  OS X keeps
contacts, address book, and calendar as separate applications that
share data.  This works much better than how Debian bundles everything
into evolution.  Those are pretty different types of data though.

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